A potential explosive mood was soothed the moment I walked into Annalakshmi at Jalan Berhala, Brickfields. I very nearly gaped open-mouth in wonderment as I was ushered into the restaurant.
Never had I expected that Annalakshmi to be such a posh; even at the point of being classy, restaurant. Soft indian prayers music played in the background, patrons are greeted warmly at the door & politely enquired of the number of guests; before being ushered to their seats.
The real reason for my bewilderment was simply because I know Annalakshmi observes a Swayamvara concept, where patrons of the restaurant pay as they wish for the food consumed. Based on the philosophies of Swami Shantananda Saraswati, the founder of TFA, Swayamvara encourages selflessness and peace. Food is prepared by volunteers, flavours are simple yet very home feel, and everything is vegetarian.
** At Annalakshmi, you Eat & pay as much as you wish, but do contribute fairly.
Hence I had expected a bustling restaurant, plain, with utilitarian tables & chairs and fans above. I admit this has certainly thrown me off my equilibrium.
And I went dressed in post-gym shorts & sleeveless! *faints*
LOL. I cringed in embarassment when I saw the sign above & wondered wildly if I have any decent change in the car. Darn, I muttered, I didn’t come all the way to be turned away!
However, in true Swayamvara spirit, the kind man at the door allowed me in. I was requested to wear a cloth-like skirt tied at the waist to cover my legs. Then I was showed to my table. Whew! 😉
Happily settling into my seat, I browsed the buffet line.
The choices are not exhaustive, but then again this ain’t a hotel!
For the uninitiated, grab a plate & take your pick from the buffet line which ranges from idli, varied dishes of vegetables prepared numerous ways, soy/gluten curry, plain rice or pilaf, resam, sambar, dhall, thayir sadham, raita. A small section features the desserts. Breads like naan, prata & chappati are upon order. Drinks too, and their mango lassi is the best! Fresh, not overly sweetened & thick.
My meal as above left me happy, satiated & contented. I walked out a calmer person & felt truly thankful that there are still such a selfless mission around, and there are all these wonderful people behind it.
Annalakshmi Vegetarian Restaurant
Temple of Fine Arts, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields.
Tel: 03 – 2272 3799
Closed on Mondays. Open for lunch from 11.30am to 3pm and dinner from 6.30 to 10.30pm.
GPS: N 03. 07 ’69
E101. 41 ’25